A new charity partnership coming to North Wales will help encourage people living with cancer not to “lose the joy of living in the fear of dying”.
Maggie’s provides free support for people with the disease across the United Kingdom, as well as their family and friends, in its warm and welcoming centres.
Now the region is set to benefit from one of its own, after Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board entered into discussions with the organisation to provide a centre in North Wales.
The Steve Morgan Foundation has kindly agreed to support the project financially, having funded the capital project for Maggie’s Wirral on the grounds of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in September.
The centres are run by expert staff who help people to live well with cancer. They provide a breathing space away from the hospital where a person living with the disease can meet people who understand what they’re going through, or just take a moment to gather their thoughts.
Maggie’s helps people take back control when cancer turns life upside down, with support for anything from treatment side-effects to money worries.
The centres’ professional teams provide help and information and run groups and activities, all designed to make coping with cancer easier.
Executive director of therapies and health sciences, Adrian Thomas, said he welcomed the partnership with Maggie’s.
He added: “We are delighted all of those going through their cancer journey in North Wales will be able to benefit from the award-winning support Maggie’s offers.
“It’s going to be a real asset for cancer services in our region – and will complement the resources provided by so many great charities already.
“We’re also extremely grateful to the Steve Morgan Foundation for supporting this exciting project which will benefit many of our patients and their families.”
Dame Laura Lee, Maggie’s Chief Executive said: “Maggie’s are delighted to be working in collaboration with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and the Steve Morgan Foundation to bring our professional cancer support to North Wales.
“Maggie’s Swansea and Maggie’s Cardiff have been supporting people across Wales for many years so we look forward to bringing more support to the country.”
Maggie’s was founded by Maggie Keswick Jencks and her husband Charles Jencks after she was told in May 1993 that her breast cancer had returned. After being given a prognosis of only three months to live the couple sat in a windowless corridor to process the news.
While sitting in the corridor they discussed the need for somewhere ‘better’ for people with cancer to go, outside of but nearby the hospital.
They began to design a blueprint of a centre at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital, where those diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones could receive advice and support.
The first Maggie’s centre opened in Edinburgh in November 1996 and a North Wales centre would add to the 24 already operational across the UK, with a further three located in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Barcelona.
It was Maggie’s determination people should not “lose the joy of living in the fear of dying” which underpins the work at all of the centres bearing her name.
For more information about Maggie’s and how to contact the charity visit: Maggie's – everyone's home of cancer care (maggies.org)
For information about the health board charity Awyr Las visit: Awyr Las | Hafan